Our Journey to Pentecost, draws to a close with the Celebration of Pentecost clearly in view. In this final reflection of the series, we consider The Way of Power.
Before Jesus left his disciples, he told them, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (NIV). The Passion Translation puts it this way, “And I will send the fulfilment of the Father’s promise to you. So stay here in the city until the mighty power of heaven falls upon you and wraps around you.” Luke 24:49 (TPT).
Not long after we were married, my husband received a phone call from the chairman of tearfund’s overseas board, saying it was the unanimous decision of the board that he take up a role in Asia. He had previously spent three years with tearfund, in the country in question, and was keen to accept the role. However after prayer and reflection, including asking close friends to join us in listening to God and praying, the overall theme which emerged was, that we could go, or wait and go in power later.
We chose the later option and during the intervening years, we had opportunities, challenges and experiences that definitely shaped us, equipped us and prepared us to enter into the roles and opportunities that awaited us when we went to Asia. You can read about one of the challenges we faced in Asia here
One such opportunity was to visit the Asian country in question. While we were there we visited an anglican convent in ‘the middle of nowhere’! We travelled overnight on a ferry, then took a two hour bus journey, followed by an hour and a half on a rickshaw and we then we walked the rest of the way!
When we arrived at the convent, the Reverend Mother’s niece was visiting from Malaysia and she was ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit in the chapel, to a group of local people. In the evening, we joined the Sisters and Reverend Mother as she spoke in the chapel and then ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a profound and powerful time for each and every one us present.
Within a year of our return from that trip, my husband got a job in that country with a Swiss child rights organisation, and we moved overseas for four years.
“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:1-2 (NLT)
In 2017 in the weeks preceding Pentecost a strange phenomena was observed in different parts of the city of Nottingham, in the UK. “BBC Radio Nottingham reporter Kevin Stanley heard the noise in Radford at about 07:15 BST on Saturday and again about half an hour later.
“To me it sounded like a whooshing noise which seemed to be passing from one place to another, like it was moving,” he said.” You can read more here. To some people it was reminiscent of the description in Acts 2.
The disciples experienced the wind, a pillar of fire, speaking in different languages and the noise attracted people in the city to where they were. The people were then amazed to hear the disciples speaking of God’s mighty wonders in their own languages. Peter then, “stood up with the eleven apostles and shouted to the crowd”, to explain what was happening (Acts 2:14)
For an example of the Holy Spirit coming in power, in more recent times, you might like to watch this short video clip of John Wimber recounting what happened, when he invited Lonnie Frisbee to preach in his church.
You might also like to enter into the Pentecost story via an Imaginative Meditation on the event. Empowering will facilitate this for you.